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Professor Thyge Winther-Jensen (1996-2000)


I am Danish. I was born in Jutland not far from a city called Vejle. My school years were spent at Soroe Academy, a public school not far from Copenhagen. After school, I graduated as a teacher and while teaching at school and at different teacher training colleges, I studied education at the University of Copenhagen. After graduation as a magister (at that time a 7-year study that unfortunately does not exist any more) I was offered a post as lecturer, later as senior lecturer and later again as a docent, at the University of Copenhagen. I was awarded my doctoral degree at Oslo University in 1988 for a thesis titled "Undervisning og menneskesyn" (Teaching and Views of Human Nature). My fields of study are primarily comparative education, history of educational ideas, and adult education.


During the later years of my modest career I was offered a post as professor of comparative education at the Danish University of Education which I happily accepted. It gave me the opportunity to fully concentrate on a field which had always been of main interest to me. I am now Emeritus Professor at the same university - which in the meantime has merged with the University of Aarhus - working on a historical-comparative project on the educational ideas on which Danish education has been based since the first nationwide school acts in 1814.


Over the years, I have had the privilege to lecture at universities in and outside of Europe. I am particularly grateful for the opportunities to lecture overseas. One of the greatest pleasures in my academic life has been to meet, to work, and to co-operate with colleagues from different parts of the world. This also includes fond memories of Japanese temples, bookshops in Boston, art galleries in Rome and Florence, cathedrals in Spain, and the highlands of Scotland. Like for other comparativists these have been particular privileges on top of my prime task of a university professor: to combine research and writing with the challenges that have their origins in student learning and student interests.


Among my publications I want the following to be mentioned:

  • 'The Enlightenment and Religion; Knowledge and Pedagogies in Europe', in Cowen, R. & Kazamias, A. (2009) International Handbook of Comparative Education. Dordrecht: Springer, pp. 823-37.
  • Editor (together with Sprogøe, J.) (2006) of Identity, Education, and Citizenship – Multiple Interrelations. Frankfurt a. M.: Peter Lang.
  • Komparativ pædagogik. Faglig tradition og global udfordring (Comparative Education. Academic Tradition and Global Challenge), Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag, 2004.
  • Voksenpædagogik - grundlag og ideer (Adult Education – Foundation and Ideas), Copenhagen. Akademisk Forlag , 1996, ( 3rd edition 2004).
  • Editor (1996) of Challenges to European Education: Cultural Values, National Identities, and Global Responsibilities. Frankfurt a. M.: Peter Lang.
  • Undervisning og menneskesyn (Teaching and Views of Human Nature) Copenhagen Akademisk Forlag, 1989 (2nd. Edition 2004).
  • Pædagogik og samfundsvidenskab (Education and Social Science). Copenhagen: Gjellerup, 1976.